The ability to identify quality leads is absolutely imperative to running a successful business. Plenty of businesses can use aggressive marketing tactics to generate large numbers of leads, but the real key that separates a successful business from a non-successful one is the efficiency of their sales process.
As Ramona Sukraj from Impact Branding & Design points out, an example of a sales cycle may look something like:
Visitors > Leads > Marketing Qualified Leads > Sales Qualified Leads > Customers
In this example, sales increases will be enabled when you’re able to increase the numbers towards the middle of the sales cycle. While many marketing campaigns focus on generating visitors and leads, your success as a business is going to come down to your ability to generate marketing qualified leads.
When you’re able to start further down the sales cycle, this enables you to create a more efficient sales environment. The ability to work with qualified leads, instead of everyone and anyone with a business and name, will also be a huge breath of fresh air for your sales team.
While the recommendation that identifying quality leads for your business is probably an obvious thought, it can be difficult to discover exactly how to do this. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that you can better position yourself to identify and receive more quality leads.
Identify the Demographics of Your Most Qualified Leads
It’s going to be impossible for you to identify quality leads if you do not know what those leads look like. To do this, you should be focusing on your current customer base and what their demographics are.
Find out exactly what type of customers you’re dealing with. This process could mean navigating through the simple process of going back to defining what your target market is. If you need help figuring this out, Chuck Cohn from Forbes provides a step-by-step guideline to get yourself going in the right direction.
One thing to realize here is that your target market can and should change based on who is buying from you. While you may have identified a target demographic before you even started your business, you want to be sure that those are the people that are actually buying from you.
It is always good practice to reassess who is buying from you on at least a bi-annual basis so you can identify the exact demographic that should be considered a qualified lead.
Create a System for Finding Those Qualified Leads
Once you have discovered the demographics surrounding who your qualified leads are, you should go through the process of creating a system that can help you find those qualified leads.
So many times, business owners get caught up in a thought process that says that they don’t have time to create a system. What they don’t realize, however, is that creating a system for how you do things now can save you an infinite amount of time down the road.
Rory Vaden is a bestselling author that is famous for, among other things, talking about the importance of procrastinating on purpose. While on Jaime Tardy’s podcast, he consistently referred to how essential it is to take the time to create a system now that can serve as a catalyst for your future.
One of the major advantages of developing a system is that it will become much easier to make incremental changes as time goes on to improve that system. Without a system it can be impossible to identify and tinker with the areas that may be in need of improvement.
The problem here, however, usually has very little to do with you knowing that you should develop a system for finding qualified leads. Instead, it more likely has to do with the fact that you don’t know how to do so.
While marketing experts have written entire books on this subject, there are some minor points that can be highlighted to help you get started.
Creating a System
Creating a system for identifying quality leads is not as difficult as you may think. Once you have defined your demographic, the next step involves discovering where that demographic spends most of their time.
Some examples of places that you may find your most qualified leads include forums, blog comment sections, social media platforms, conferences, strategic partnerships, online courses, trade shows, product reviews, book reviews, associations, online communities, podcasts, and even on email lists from authority figures in your industry.
The complete list for where to find qualified leads can literally take you days to complete. Even with this small list, however, you will more than likely never have enough time in a year to go after potential clients in each of these different places.
Since tackling all of these places is impossible, it is your job to narrow it down to 4-5 that you feel will be most effective to your current efforts. From there, developing a system to identify and generate quality leads from each will allow you to continually improve and then expand into the other available lead generating channels.
At the end of the day, identifying and generating quality leads is one of the most difficult challenges that a business is faced with. With that being said, the ability of a business to overcome that challenge on a consistent basis may be the number one determinant of long term success.
With that in mind, you simply cannot afford to continue to be stressed out by the immense pressure that comes with having to identify new quality leads on a daily basis. Instead, it is absolutely essential that you develop a plan for identifying your leads and then put forth a system that allows you to generate those leads from the many available channels.
Lead identification and generation are two things that need to be made a priority in your business. Develop your system and allow yourself to continually improve that system. From there, you will no doubt begin to see consistent success in your business.